Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Firstly, thanks to all who sent warm birthday wishes yesterday. I had a great birthday that included (finally) a trip with the Pacific Whale Foundation to spot whales as they frolicked in the warm waters of Ma'alaea Bay, the second windiest bay in the world. Each year, starting from November to May, Hawai'i is home to more than 10,000 humpback whales that come here to mate and give birth. Mothers and their newborn calves generally remain close to shore, to rest and nurse. Babies can gain up to 200 hundred pounds a day solely on it's mother's milk. They begin to feed on fish at around 6 months and are usually weaned after about 10-12 months.

Sometimes a mother and calf will be accompanied by a third whale, called an "escort." This escort, often a male, (but unlikely the father), is often observed in close proximity to the mother and calf, which we saw happening. And not long after, the calf breached about 100 yards from the boat. It was AMAZING! It shot out of the water, and flopped back down in the blink of an eye, pectoral fins flapping in the air. Breaches happens so fast that we could not capture them on film. Perhaps next time. Another highlight was when a mother popped up out of the water to blow. The sound was surreal and ominous. Just a giant creature!

We had lunch at the only Indian restaurant on the island, which just opened a few months ago. We hadn't had Indian food in over a year. The samosas were very tasty. Then we dragged our tired, Dramamine-d selves to Big Beach in Makena for a nap. Couldn't think of a better way to spend my birthday. Oh, and delicious homemade banana cheesecake for dessert!

Whale 101.

Whale at 3 o'clock!

Thar she blows! LITERALLY!
They say the air being blown from the 2 blow holes come out at 300MPH!

A mother whale's tail as she dives deeper.

Detail of above image. Technically known ans the "fluke up dive."

A mother and calf.

The peduncle arch (hump) of the Humpback.

A view of the West Maui Mountains from about 4 miles offshore.

A panorama of Maui. From left to right:
West Maui, Central Valley, Haleakala, Molokini Crater and Kaho'olawe.

A green sea turtle.

A view of Kaho'olawe from Big Beach in Makena.

A relaxing, lazy, nap filled afternoon at the beach.


baffle said...

Happy Happy, Dear One!
So glad you had a lovely day with the whales and cheesecake!


Parnell Corder said...

Do the Whales watch back? Like... Hey, look at that one with the fur above his mouth!

Hope you had a great one!

Anonymous said...

Happy belated birthday! Love, Aunt Joan